Workforce, training and education
East of England

** Exciting news!  Additional Medical Oncology NTN posts, including new location at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. 
Please contact TPD (Simon Pacey) with any questions **

Medical oncologists specialise particularly in the development, implementation and delivery of systemic anti-cancer therapies and routinely lead on delivering clinical research, with many extending this to active laboratory-based research, and involvement in the development as well as the delivery of clinical trials.
Systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) is a wide and expanding field of practice, which has moved far beyond traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy agents. Current modalities include biological agents, molecular targeted agents, immunotherapies, immune modulators and most recently individually modified immune cell therapies. The development and safe introduction of these therapies to treat solid tumours is a complex and highly specialised field of practice in which medical oncologists lead.
In addition to the generic professional capabilities expected of all doctors, Medical Oncologists will have the specialist skills to deliver what cancer patients need throughout their disease pathway across disparate tumour types including:
  • Lead and contribute to Multidisciplinary team meetings
  • Be responsible for developing comprehensive and complex management plans
  • Communicate with patients in a way which places the patient at the centre of the decision-making process
  • Responsible for safe and efficient delivery/oversee the delivery of SACT elements of treatment plan and overall co-ordination of treatment plans
  • Capable to manage/ develop Acute Oncology Services
  • Active contribution to clinical research.
Extracts from 2021 curriculum.
As would be expected, given the size and impact of the research carried out within our region (see research tab) there is a strong academic component to our training program.  There are extensive  research opportunities for NTN post holders and many opportunities for NTN(A), integrated academic career path, posts (from SFY through to ACL).
Cambridge was awarded Cancer Research UK Major Centre status and a priority of the Centre is to train the cancer research leaders of the future.
We would like to hear from prospective trainees and informal visits are encouraged, if this is not feasible Dr Pacey (TPD and Academic Training Lead) would be delighted to explain the benefits of training within the East of England, the fantastic opportunities to conduct research and answer any questions not outlined on these web pages.  Equally our trainees, via our trainee representative can also be contacted.  Please use the details found on the contacts tab to get in touch.

Medical Oncology in the East of England

Medical Oncology training is provided by rotations across the hospitals in our region.  A substantial proportion of the program will be spent based in Cambridge (Addenbrookes Hospital).  The increase in training posts has led to an expansion at all sites as well as adding new ones to the program.  So that StR can plan for their entire program, a series of mini-rotations are planned to limit overall travelling between sites and make it simpler to locate within the region.

Medical Oncology Training Program East of England: mini-rotation planning

East of England rotations

Where possible trainees are supported within their timetables to attend audit/ academic activities at Cambridge (Tuesday), this maintains and develops stronger links with the trainee cohort and helps prepare for changing location in due course.

On call commitments vary between sites:

Cambridge, Southend, Stevenage and Noroflk & Norwich operate their own on call rota for Oncology.  Currently StR based at Peterborough, Kings Lynn or West Suffolk do not take part in overnight on call.

During the four clinical years there is plenty of opportunities to be involved in research projects for those who are motivated, including clinical trials (phase 1, 2 and 3).   For those trainees who wish to undertake a postgraduate degree, options include applying for PhD or MD studentships.  

2022 trainee and consultant December social (Christ’s Great Hall, Cambridge) 



Our training program comprises a vibrant mix of both NTN and integrated academic trainees (SFY, ACF and ACL).  The links to regional Universities and strength of Oncology research mean that there are many opportunities to develop projects and individual research experience at all levels.

Cambridge is in a unique position within the UK to develop translational research, given the high density of basic cancer research on or around the Addenbrookes campus.  The breadth and depth of scientific expertise available in Cambridge is unrivalled in Europe.

The region has an outstanding record of recruiting patients into clinical trials (Phase 1- 3). Many Consultants are leading (Chief) investigators running both commercial and academic led clinical studies.  Trainees are strongly encouraged to develop links with a particular team and follow the progress of one/ two studies over the course of their training (beyond the tumour site attachment).  For example, several of our trainees are associate PI’s within the NIHR scheme.   A significant proportion of trial recruitment occurs from Addenbrookes, within the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre led by Professor Duncan Jodrell.  Cambridge hosts a Phase 1/ Early Phase Trials Team (Professor Jodrell, Dr's Basu, Baird and Pacey) and our rotations include a dedicated block attached to the Early Phase Team.  This means trainees benefit from extensive exposure to clinical trial methodology.  We support trainees to attend the ASCO/AACR/EORTC Clinical Trials Methodology workshop or JING UK workshop among others.  Examples of the clinical trial research infrastructure and support are listed on the Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre webpages.

We encourage and support our trainees to utilise out of program opportunities to develop research skills, many trainees choose to undertake a postgraduate qualification (commonly PhD).  The CRUK Cambridge Centre offers a limited number of PhD projects annually, see here for details and trainees can apply to other schemes.

The Cambridge biomedical campus has been (and continues) to expand rapidly, including the relocation of Papworth Hospital with the National Heart and Lung Research Centre as well as major pharmaceutical company investment exemplified by Astra Zeneca building their global R&D headquarters.  Therefore, there are extensive opportunities for research much of which is organised under the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, led by Professor Richard Gilbertson.


Integration with Clinical Oncology

We are well placed to deliver the clinical oncology elements required in the oncology common stem year (ST3).

There is excellent integration with Clinical Oncology, including a shared weekly audit and academic session that includes case presentations, x-ray meetings, pathology meetings, journal clubs, audits and lectures.

Cambridge operates a joint on-call rota and StR and consultant level for Medical and Clinical Oncology.

There are a number of joint clinics attended by both clinical and medical oncologists, and there is good collaboration between the two disciplines.

Overall this provides ample opportunity for the medical oncology trainees to obtain experience in radiotherapy treatment.


Useful Links & Helpful Info

Useful links



JRCPTB Medical Oncology Curriculum (2017):  

Medical Oncology Decision Aid (2017) 



JRCPTB (Joint Royal College of Physician Training Board): You will need to register with the JRCPTB to activate your eportfolio.

Your E-portfolio will be assessed at ARCP. I would highly recommend keeping it up to date. ARCP normally takes place in September.



See decision aid above.


Helpful websites

Detailed guidance on the Medical Oncology assessment blueprint is available from the JRCPTB website.

Association of Cancer Physicians:

Cancer Physicians in Training:

European Society for Medical Oncology:

American Society for Medical Oncology:

SCE Exam:

Thursday, 1 October, 2020
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Thursday, 1 October, 2020